Vince Farrugia is suing Mediatoday managing editor Saviour Balzan for libel for publishing evidence presented in court by Sandro Chetcuti's defence lawyers.
The GRTU has mounted a defence of the evidence submitted in the prosecution of Sandro Chetcuti, accused of the attempted murder of GRTU director Vince Farrugia, in a bid to bolster a libel suit against Mediatoday managing editor Saviour Balzan.
Balzan has been sued for libel by Farrugia after publishing SMSes presented in court by the defence counsel of Sandro Chetcuti, that call into question the evidence submitted by consultant radiologist Anthony Samuel of the injuries suffered by Farrugia.
In what reads as a missive against Mediatoday and a hagiography for Vince Farrugia - at least half of the GRTU's pamphlet praises "the tremendous work, enthusiasm and energy Vince Farrugia places in all that he does for micro, small and medium Maltese enterprises" - the GRTU is pushing its own defence of the evidence so far submitted against Chetcuti by the Attorney General.
In an unsigned article, the GRTU accuses Balzan of exaggerating "the conspiracy theory" of "well-paid" defence lawyer Emanuel Mallia.
So far, two medical experts appointed by the court have put into doubt the evidence of Samuel as to the type of injuries Farrugia suffered when he was assaulted by Chetcuti at the GRTU offices back in March 2009.
"What Dr Anthony Samuel, Malta's foremost expert on imagery, produced in Court is objective, electronically registered bone scan evidence which is irrefutable as to the damage caused on Vince Farrugia by the savage attack of Sandro Chetcuti."
Chetcuti's lawyers have produced evidence in court to show that Samuel had contacts with Vince Farrugia's children before carrying out the scan, which is is being disputed by other radiologists.
Under cross-examination, Samuel told the court that he never specified that the broken ribs he had detected when examining Farrugia were caused by the assault itself. Samuel also admitted he had briefly dated Farrugia's daughter.
Between 15 and 23 March 2009, Samuel was also shown to have had five mobile phone and SMS exchanges with both of Farrugia's children. In one SMS, Marie-Claire Farrugia sent to her father, she says: "I have asked Anthony Samuel to do a scan on our ribs" adding that it would help his court case.
Here's the GRTU's take on the evidence, as written in its official pamphlet:
"When Vince Farrugia's medical consultant, who is also his daughter, stated that a scan is good for the court case, she said so because a scan is irrefutable, scientific and not opinionated evidence, something on which the court can rely. She was stating the obvious - a scan shows whether any damage was inflicted, good for the prosecution, or not inflicted, good for the defence. Any consultant would have recommended the same whether the patient was her/his father or not."
The GRTU is also insisting that Vince Farrugia never reported or exhibited any pains in the ribs or suffered any accident that could have cause breakages to the ribs prior to the 11 March assault.
"Any consultant would also have contacted the Head of the Imagery Department at Mater Dei to see if an early appointment was possible. Anyone of the hospital staff would have sought to send a message, one way or another, if an appointed slot was possible. Whether the message went direct to the patient or indirectly through his son is really irrelevant."
According to the evidence against Chetcuti, the former GRTU official is said to have told Farrugia he would kill him as he punched him to the ground, and that he would back with his brother to finish him off.
The GRTU is also claiming Mediatoday is defending Chetcuti, whom it describes as "an aggressor with a history of violence on persons... who publicises himself as a land speculator and who is a self-confessed and registered heavy tax evader and who in the not so distant past was shown by MaltaToday itself as a person very scarce on business ethics as a property dealer."